Name: Sadera Swakei
Institution: Western Governors University
Diabetes is a disease that has been under constant scrutiny by various stakeholders in the society. These stakeholders include scientists, doctors, patients and people affiliated to patients. Despite this publicity, diabetes is yet under study again from a new angle. As it has been commonly observed, diabetes occurs in aging adults or as an opportunistic disease in people with the HIV virus. The new trend that is taking the research world by storm is the contraction of Type 2 diabetes among children and adolescents aged 10 – 19 years. This would seem absurd for a researcher that lived and investigated this condition ten decades ago. However, as of the moment, this is the reality that is facing the community. Diabetes is associated with high amounts of glucose in the blood. According to Molnár (2004), Type 2 Diabetes is contracted when the body is unable to respond to insulin production resulting in hyperglycemia. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the cells responsible for insulin production are destroyed by the body’s immune system. Claims by different researchers have blamed social factors like; poor eating habits, stress and drug abuse for the increase of type 2 diabetes among children and teenagers. It is vital to investigate whether indeed more children and teenagers between 10 and 19 years of age are contracting type 2 diabetes and possible solutions to this problem.
The National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention coordinated a research program for diabetes among youths in the United States of America. This program was named SEARCH. The results from the study are as follows: The compiling of annual data concerning diabetes among youths with a sample of approximately 4 900 000 children under 20 years of age started in 2002. Data analysis conducted between 2008 and 2009 showed an overall diabetes incidence estimate of 28.1 per 100 000 annually. The study also showed an estimate of 5 089 children had type 2 Diabetes. Among the individuals under ten years, the rate of new cases was 0.4 per 100,000 for Type 2 Diabetes between 2002 and 2005. Among youth aged 10-19, the rate of new cases was 8.5 per 100,000 for Type 2 Diabetes. It was found that 3,700 American youth get adult-onset diabetes for the first time annually based on data analyzed between 2002 and 2003. Type 2 diabetes was found to be rare in children under the age of ten years across all races and ethnic groups (Molnár, 2004).
The data presented above shows that the contraction of Type 2 Diabetes is abnormally high among individuals aged 10 – 19 years. The number of affected children and teenagers is expected to grow. Dabelea, Mayer-Davis, Saydah, Imperator, Linder, Divers & Hamman (2014), claim that the leading factor responsible for high type 2 Diabetes incidence is poor eating habits. The affected individuals engage in unhealthy eating habits that do not reinforce the immune system. These poor eating habits coupled with the lack of exercise result in obesity that increases the chances of contracting type 2 Diabetes.
According to Wilson (2013), awareness should be created among children and adolescents in schools concerning the importance of proper eating habits and exercise. This awareness should also involve other stakeholders like parents and guardians who should ensure that their children eat a balanced diet during meal times. Exercise should also be encouraged in order to maintain healthy and well-functioning bodies. The education and health sectors should form a coalition that will see administration of tests among school going children and teenagers for diabetes. Early detection will help ensure that affected students receive the required medical plan to manage the disease.
Type 2 Diabetes has always been associated with ageing adults whose bodies are unable to have